Texas mom gets 99 years for gluing toddler to wall, beating her
Elizabeth Escalona, 23, admitted gluing her 2-year-old daughter to a wall and beating her over potty training.
October 12th, 2012
02:23 PM ET

Texas mom gets 99 years for gluing toddler to wall, beating her

[Updated at 4:22 p.m. ET] A Texas mother who super-glued her 2-year-old daughter's hands to a wall and beat her over potty training problems was sentenced Friday morning to 99 years in prison, a Dallas County felony records department district clerk said.

Elizabeth Escalona, 23, will be eligible to ask for parole in 30 years. She pleaded guilty in July to a charge of first-degree injury to a child, a crime punishable by anywhere between probation and life in prison.

"This mom was pure evil, and her children are better off without her," prosecutor Eren Price said after a judge delivered Friday's sentence. "Her five kids now have a chance to lead a productive life."

Escalona’s attorney said that the sentence was excessive and that an appeal would be filed, CNN affiliate KTVT reported.

Escalona's daughter Jocelyn Cedillo was less than two months shy of her 3rd birthday in September 2011 when Escalona used a powerful adhesive to glue her hands to a wall and beat her because of potty training troubles, authorities said. Three other children belonging to Escalona, who was pregnant at the time, witnessed the abuse, according to Dallas County district attorney's office spokeswoman Debbie Denmon.

The child urinated on herself during the ordeal, during which she was hit in head and kicked in the groin, among other forms of abuse, Denmon said.

Oefelia Escalona, the defendant's mother, testified during her daughter's sentencing hearing this week that she found the girl and took her to a hospital. Once Jocelyn was there, medical authorities noticed severe bruises to her face and head, as well as a severe brain injury that led to her temporarily being in a coma.

At this week's sentencing hearing, prosecutors showed pictures of Jocelyn's hands and bruised body and forehead.

"The entire picture was very shocking," said Dr. Amy Barton, then a child abuse pediatrician at Children's Medical Center of Dallas, choking back tears on the stand on Monday. "I see a lot of children, and this was one of the most shocking cases that I have seen."

Escalona asked for leniency during her sentencing hearing this week, saying she behaved like a monster but deserved a second chance, KTVT reported. Her mother asked the judge to sentence Elizabeth to probation, according to KTVT.

Price initially offered a plea bargain of 45 years in prison, but Escalona turned it down, the district attorney's office said.

Price said that the judge, after learning more about Escalona during the hearing, was justified in sentencing her to more time.

"Elizabeth Escalona wasn't sorry for what she did to 2-year-old Jocelyn. Elizabeth Escalona felt sorry for herself," Price said. "Those tears on the stand were for her and not for the toddler she tortured."

An attempt to reach Escalona's attorney for comment Friday was not immediately successful.

Before this incident, Escalona had been investigated by Texas Child Protective Services but never arrested or charged, Denmon said.

The child welfare agency put all of her children in foster care after Jocelyn was taken to the hospital. All five of them, including Jocelyn, are now in the custody of their grandmother, Oefelia Escalona.

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Filed under: Courts • Crime • Justice • Texas
soundoff (2,261 Responses)
  1. SLE

    I hope that poor grandmother gets the resources and respite she needs to care for the children. I only care for 1 of my grandchildren and it is very hard because I still work full time and am disabled. It's just harder when you're older. But no grandparent wants their grandchild to go to foster care or be adopted out to other families. I understand 100% and will pray for her. Bless her !

    October 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      That poor grandma taught her ignorant daughter everything she knows about child rearing. As I've said, the circle remains unbroken. God help these kids!

      October 13, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • psychicstalker

      I hope the bad mommy defendant didn't pick up any of her monster mommy skills from the "poor grandmother", Violence towards children is not innate, it is learned. C'mon, there is a reason this 23 year old female has 4 children and one in the oven. There is a reason the "poor grandmother" was requesting probation for the bad mommy. And there is a reason it is "poor grandmother" is the one who discovers the toddler in such a severe condition. Usually the apple doesn't fall very far from the tree. The 23 year was way off the hook violent towards a helpless child, she learned that management skill somewhere and it wasn't that long ago that she was a child herself. So maybe the likelihood of "poor grandma" raising these kids to grow up to be just like the monster mommy is high enough to warrant giving someone else a chance at raising these kids.

      October 13, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Disgusted

      'poor grandmother'??? She wanted probation for her monster spawn. They better keep a close eye on those kids, I don't trust that grandmother!

      October 13, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. David

    It's Texas, why should anyone be surprised.

    October 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • XTexan

      Texas...where white women kill their five children and get compassion and troubled young brown women get 99 years for injuring one child. Texas logic...

      October 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • RioTexas

      XTexan The white woman was mentally ill which was proven in a court of law. As a matter of fact, the original sentence was death and evaluation by professionals proved she was mentally ill. The same thing might take place in this situation dwn the road. Stop throwing a persons race or ethnic background into the picture.

      October 13, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • XTexan

      RIOTexas, fortunately Texas has a long history. ...don't have to makeup anything up...if it looks and acts like a VERY FAMIILAR duck...

      October 13, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cliff

    not long enough…we need to throw in some torture too…maybe send her to gitmo for a few weeks.

    October 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • XTexan

      ...see what I mean???

      October 13, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Portland tony

    Giving the children to the deviant's mother will never break this circle of evil! Who taught this young woman her parenting skills? Where did she learn about beating an infant? Good chance she was knocked about quite severely during her pre adolescent years!

    October 13, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. bud johnson

    Child abuse is a terrible thing. However, 99 years for anything that did not result in a death is an absolutely absurd sentence. It is a waste of money, a waste of this lady's life, and a waste of our justice system. Yes, what she did was terrible however murderers and rapists get far far less of a sentence and have committed far far worse crimes. 15-20 years seems much more in line with this type of crime. Our society has a horrible problem with how we handle justice and crime, everyone seems to just want to lock someone up, throw away the key and forget about it. Problem is, criminals are people to. We are supposed to be the country of the "free" yet we have more people in prison today than ANY other country in the world. ALMOST double the amount of Russian prisoners (gulag etc..) MORE than double the amount of Chinese prisoners (communists). We have a serious problem in this country and its the addiction to prison rather than sentences that make sense and rehabilitation.

    October 13, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sasquatch

      Bud, I grew up in that type of situation where abuse was the standard. You make sense in that the prisons do not help people. It kicks the can down the road without intervention to prevent future problems. Almost 100% of the individuals incarcerated have metal issues, personality disorders, and/or other treatable problems. Locking them up does not address this and the cost to our society is becoming enormous. I agree with you, the solution is not more prisons and prison time. Thank you for having the common sense for the long term and to express your wisdom.

      October 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • MatarLaRaza

      We should just nuke her...

      October 13, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Haleene

      As a mother I can tell you, no mother would treat her child like this and not be more fearful for herself then the child.. She is no different then a rapist, who "should" also be sentenced to life for taking a child's metal life away. I have been there and know what I am talking about. I and my four siblings have been parents and raised our kids with abundant love, but never have been able to trust our mates. The ones we can not control.
      That child will live in fear and not trust anyone close forever, and I can only guess that was the same situation for the other children. She is guilty of more then just one child never being normal again. But one is enough.
      This is a horrific crime even to other inmates, so her sentence will be more severe then the 99 years. I have been in the foster system with my younger siblings as well, and it can be as bad as what this women's life will be. This women's crime went far beyond that child and that particular incident. It has effected a whole family and will the rest of their lives. Her being locked up is "exactly way I gladly pay taxes."

      October 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • XTexan

      ...she's brown...

      October 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • IreneN

      Today many prisons are private businesses for profit. Every for-profit business can be successful only when it enjoys a non-stop flow of customers walking through the door. Throw in the caveat of endless fraud possibilities and, as a minimum, max costs that are usually charged to the government and you'll find your answer.

      Same with our managed health care system 🙂 Healthy population is not profitable.

      October 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • JC

      Russia has fewer prisoners not because they are less likely to send a criminal to prison but because prison in Russia is actually a punishment and hardship, instead of the system we have in the US. Think about it–here, criminals get food and shelter and free medical care, and they very often have to do absolutely nothing for it. In fact, thanks to bleeding hearts around the country, we treat criminals far better than many not imprisoned people in the country–because it just wouldn't be fair to deprive criminals of entertainment and of free higher education, etcetera. Of course we have more imprisoned people–our punishment system is a reward, so why would anyone be deterred from committing a crime? It's actually a testament to human character and/or the hopelessness of many homeless people that we don't have hordes of homeless people committing major crimes just so they can go to jail where they'll get all this wonderful free care.

      October 13, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • GM1953

      I've never understood why attempted murder should ever be considered less of a crime than murder. The intent is the same. The act is the same. the only difference is the results. So the defendant gets a break because he/she failed

      October 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dot8

    99 years? why not finish her off?

    October 13, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • XTexan

      Careful, Texas will think that you're serious...

      October 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Haleene

      It's a religious quandary. God told us in "The Lords Prayer" that we will be forgiven as we forgive others. Since we all break Gods rules and are sinners, we all have a chance at redemption, but until we are truly sorry, we must be separated from causing more harm.

      October 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Nate

    No reflection about why this happened in the first place, what social or familial problems caused her to become this sociopathic, and no interest in rehabilitating her and ensuring that she never hurts another living creature again. Instead, put her in a really expensive, violent, poorly-run Texas prison. Rinse repeat, rinse repeat, rinse repeat. It's the same ole' script: "People will see how much jail time she got, and that will keep them from abusing their children."

    October 13, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Loving Mother

    Everyone on here that are just talking about yourselves, where is your compassion for this innocent 2 year old girl??? I have a daughter that just turned 3, and could not even imagine doing something like that to her. Death penalty? No, too easy! She will get what she deserves in prison from all of the Mothers that are there wishing they were with their children, She should never be released from prison, and should be kept in General Population, because there she will receive torture from other inmates, then when she passes don't forget she has one more person to stand in front and be judged and he is in no court room, there she will have to answer for what she has done and there will be no mercy given! These children definitely do not need to be with their Grandparents because she learned that abuse somewhere...Hello! Thank God children are resilient and hopefully in time those memories will fade! my thoughts and prayers will be with her, and obviously she does have an Angel looking over her and always will!

    October 13, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Haleene

      I agree this women must be locked up for life, but only because she has an evil in her that I don't think will ever be abolished.
      As for God forgiving her, it is possible. That's what God is about and tells us to do too, if we want our sins forgiven. "Forgive us as we forgive our debtors." Once she is really sorry, I forgive her, but that doesn't change the fact she is too dangerous to have on the streets of normal people now and possible forever. She owes those children 30 years.
      I don't believe in the death penalty, but one can not remain in a civilized community when that are far from being civilized. Maybe she will be civilized by the time she is eligible for her first probation hearing and she is unable to have any more children, but if not... The law has allowed themselves to keep her locked away with a 99 year sentence.

      October 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. MatarLaRaza

    What is wrong with these Mexicans ??????????????????????????????????

    October 13, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shy-Ronnie

      What is wrong with YOU?

      October 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jonathan

      The culture of poverty.

      October 13, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. also a mother

    She needs to be put in a room and be done to her what she did to that poor baby.

    October 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sara2026

    It breaks my heart to know this type of abuse happens to innocent children all around the world everyday. It is very difficult for me to imagine the rage and sadness a parent must feel to complete such an act. My every instinct as a mother is to lay down my life for my children. I would do anything to protect them. I am sending my love and prayers to all those suffering today. My prayer is that the abusers will see the pain they are inflicting and open their hearts to love. May all beings be free of suffering.

    October 13, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Siggie

    She's lucky she didn't get a 100 years...

    October 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ric

    Horrible crime & ridiculous sentence

    October 13, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. pooh2

    I think, five children is only for the zero point one percent of the population, who are well prepared for it psychologically, but also financially. How do you pay for the college education of five kids? How do you find time to raise them to be harmonic individuals + to work + to do family life and also afford time for recreation? One has to be unbelievably organized to do all of the above. Obviously she was not ready for the task. It is like climbing a mountain without equipment. The result can only be catastrophic.

    October 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Truth Hurts

    A Tall tree and a short piece of rope would suffice for her....

    October 13, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
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